Monthly Archives: November 2013

In Israel, refusing to circumcise your child can cost US$140/daily

While Jewish groups denounce the European intolerance in calling circumcision of underage boys a violation of their physical integrity, a mother in Israel is being forced to circumcise her son as part of divorce proceedings, and in the mean time is being fined 500 nis (approximately US$140) per day until she consents to the circumcision.

Most recent article: Woman fined $140 a day for refusing to circumcise son

For the back story, read: Israel Rabbinical Court Forcing Divorcée to Circumcise Son

With this attitude, the Israeli MKs are going to have a hard time convincing Europeans that circumcision is ANYTHING but a violation of the physical integrity of children.

At this time, the Rabbinical court rejected the mother’s appeal. The mother is trying to obtain support and legal help to bring the case to the High Court.

How can Jewish groups decry intolerance, and not tolerate this mother’s decision over the health and physical integrity of her own son?

Detailed article (in Hebrew): http://www.mako.co.il/news-law/legal/Article-414e7026d2f8241004.htm?sCh=3d385dd2dd5d4110&pId=1898243326

For up to date information, Facebook group: תומכים באלינור נגד כפיית ברית Supporting Elinor against forced circumcision

Rabbinical court forcing divorcee mother to circumcise her child while Israel campaigns against resolution by the Council of Europe

And while Jewish groups launch a pro-circumcision task force, and MKs plan to travel through Europe in the coming weeks to battle anti-circumcision legislation to convince Europe that circumcision of underage boys without medical necessity is not a violation of physical integrity, as recently indicated in a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a rabbinical court in Netanya, 20 miles north from Tel Aviv, is forcing a divorcee mother to facilitate the circumcision of her child (against her consent) as a demand of the ex-husband.

The mother argued that the authority to decide on this matter belongs exclusively in family court. But the rabbinical judges, Rabbis Michael Amos, Sheur Pardes and Ariel Yanai, rejected the woman’s argument and determined that when a couple is in a dispute over the treatment of their son, the dispute may be resolve either in family or in rabbinical court.

The mother’s request was rejected and the court ordered her to have the circumcision be performed within seven days, or suffer a financial penalty.

As long as religious courts are entitled to overrule a mother’s consent and force a child to undergo an unwanted and unneeded removal of part of his genitals, the task force and MKs are going to have a very difficult time convincing anyone that circumcision of underage boys is anything other than a violation of the physical integrity of the child.

She argued that the authority to decide on this matter belongs exclusively in family court. But the rabbinical judges, Rabbis Michael Amos, Sheur Pardes and Ariel Yanai, rejected the woman’s argument and determined that when a couple is in a dispute over the treatment of their son, the dispute may be resolve either in family or in rabbinical court.

Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-rabbinical-court-forcing-divorcee-to-circumcise-son/2013/11/07/

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Memphis report of a botched circumcision

WMCTV5 and Fox 13 reported on a mother’s anguish over a botched circumcision of her three month old son, in August. The mom, Maggie Rhodes described the surgery as taking 3 hours where the baby was crying all the time, and going back home with the baby still crying where her sister removed the bandage to find her “son’s penis was not there”.

While there are not enough details in the report to know whether this was really an accidental amputation (which I don’t consider likely, as it would have been beyond irresponsible and criminal to give back a child with an amputated penis without warning), or if there is lack of clarity and this is a case of buried penis, a known complication of circumcision. Buried penis is sometimes overcome as the baby grows, but it also needs surgical repair some times.

The report says: “All that was left was a partial penis and his tiny testicles. Rhodes said Ashton urinates through a hole in his penis.”

This, however, is consistent with the appearance of a buried penis. I’m speculating here though, because I don’t want to believe that health professionals can be so stupid, criminal and unethical as to amputate the penis and not say a word to the mother.

Concealed penis encompasses both congenital and acquired conditions whereby the phallus is retracted inward beneath the suprapubic fat pad and partially obscured by preputial skin.14  The congenital etiology of concealed penis is thought to result from (1) poor elasticity of dartos fascia, restricting its ability to move freely through deep layers of tissue, and (2) the lack of anchoring of the penile skin to deep fascia, which in turn limits extension.15  In older or obese children, anatomical factors such as a pronounced suprapubic fat pad or a large pannus may contribute to the aforementioned congenital anomalies to effectively obscure the phallus.  Moreover, an unsuccessful circumcision may also serve to exacerbate this condition by causing penile entrapment or by allowing the concealed penis to recede further beneath surrounding tissue.

Buried / Concealed penis

The AAP Technical Report on Circumcision states:

There is good evidence that circumcision of a premature infant is associated with an increased risk of later-occurring complications (ie, poor cosmesis, increased risk of trapped penis, adhesions). There is also good evidence that circumcision of a newborn who has a prominent suprapubic fat pad or penoscrotal webbing has a higher risk for the same long-term complications.

While the AAP states that the “benefits outweigh the risks“, the report also states that:

Financial costs of care, emotional tolls, or the need for future corrective surgery (with the attendant anesthetic risks, family stress, and expense) are unknown.

And the most damning statement: “The true incidence of complications after newborn circumcision is unknown.

“Like, ‘Momma like, how could this happen to me? How could this happen to me?How could you explain that to your child that you don’t have a penis that they have to reconstruct one or you probably have might not never be able to have kids? That don’t sit well with me at all.” – Maggie Rhodes

Read more: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/23912521/mother-upset-over-botched-circumcision#ixzz2k44fAtcl

Also: http://www.wmctv.com/story/23899878/a-look-ahead-mother-claims-doctor-disfigured-son-after-botched-circumcision

FOX13 News contacted Christ Community Health Centers for a comment. They were told the CEO is aware of their request, but so far has not returned their repeated calls.

Maggie, our heart is with you, with your son and with your family.